In a perfect world, a government contractor could seamlessly transition from proposal to award to contract performance without delay or dispute. Unfortunately, disputes surrounding the government contract award process are common, and most government contractors will find themselves involved in some form of a bid-related dispute. Given this reality, it is imperative that federal contractors understand the intricacies of the bid protest process in order to defend their own contract awards and to timely assert their rights as a protester.
Government contract protests can be challenged in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (COFC) or before the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Occasionally, a protest can also be filed directly with the procuring agency. There is a full range of issues that can be raised before these tribunals, including:
- Defective solicitations, such as restrictive specifications, omission of a required provision, vague contract requirements and ambiguous evaluation factors;
- Failure to follow the award process;
- Failure to follow the criteria set forth in the request for proposals;
- Disparate treatment of offerors;
- Solicitation cancellations;
- Late and unresponsive bids;
- Integrity and fraud issues;
- Small business issues;
- Technical evaluations;
- Cost and pricing issues; and
- Best value determinations, including cost/technical tradeoffs.
At the Federal Practice Group Worldwide Service, our attorneys are experienced in challenging the propriety of an award or request for proposal, and in defending the award if our client is the awardee. We understand the bid protest process, the issues that can be raised, the timelines that must be adhered to, and what is at stake for the businesses we represent.
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